Monday, December 30, 2019

Years ago I had this comb drawer.  It was stocked full of various types of detangling combs.  Somehow, I developed this habit of picking up a new detangling comb whenever I came across one that seemed promising.  This went on for years until I found the detangling comb that changed everything.

Since then, I've been pretty content.  I invested in a couple Mason Pearson Detangling combs and called it a day.  The Mason Pearson comb became my absolute favorite for many reasons which are all detailed in this post.   Honestly, I never thought I'd see the day when another detangling comb would catch my eye....

But the day has arrived.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Immediately after getting married, my husband and I sought to purchase our first home.  The problem was that we lived in a city with unusually fast-rising home prices.  Oh, did I mention the fact that we bought at the tail end of a housing bubble?  Interest rates were high and prices were extremely inflated.  After a brief search, we found a home that we loved at first sight.

We were both making hourly wages at the time.  After running the numbers, I figured we could afford the mortgage although things would be tight and we have to be cautious with our spending.  I hated our loan structure. The interest rate was too high and it sometimes fluctuated depending on the market.  Then the bubble burst, causing our home to lose a ton of value.  I hated paying a mortgage for a home that was worth much less than I paid for it. I wanted nothing more than a chance to reduce the monthly payments to free up cash for other things.

Eventually, that day came.  After years of wishing to lower mortgage payment,  I was finally able to refinance.  Once the payment dropped,  my monthly income *technically* went up.  It felt amazing. I thought my life would be so different....but it wasn't.

Nothing really changed once the payment went down.  The money we saved monthly was quickly reabsorbed into our lifestyle.  I fantasized for years about having a lower mortgage, and when it happened....I let everything slip through my fingers.

Here's the good news.  I'm currently in the process of refinancing my mortgage once again! Dropping interest rates have presented us with yet another opportunity to increase our monthly income via a lower payment.  But, this time, I want to do things differently.

Friday, December 27, 2019

I've made commitments to myself to wear dresses more often.  But, people tend to dress down where I live which makes most of my dresses a bit too formal for daily wear.  The solution to this dilemma is the dress that's absolutely perfect for shopping, running errands or even a brunch date with Mr. Hopefully.

It's the demin dress.

Why do I love denim dresses?  I consider them as timeless and classic.  Sure, they aren't as formal as other styles of dresses but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be staples in our closet.

If you haven't found a denim dress that you love, it's because you haven't been looking hard enough.  You've probably dismissed them as outdated, frumpy or even a fashion no-no.  I'm here to invite you to think differently about the underappreciated demin dress.

Fun fact, I met my husband wearing a jean dress.  Back then, I owned several because they were my favorite type of dress.  The one I wore, in particular, was slightly form-fitting, yet modest and stylish.  I appeared feminine and approachable because of the casual nature of denim.

What I love about the denim dress is that you can go for whatever silhouette that best suits you.  Pretty much any cut, shade, style, or shape is an option.  Short or long, form-fitting or flowy,  you can find it!

Not ready to go "full denim dress" yet?  That's perfectly fine.  Perhaps you can consider incorporating denim skirts into your style rotation.
Again, you can play around with style, length to find your perfect fit.  Denim skirts are the epitome of casual-feminine-chic, especially if you accessorize with a strappy shoe.  It's a perfect laid-back look that's can still be polished and put together.


Thursday, December 26, 2019

About a month ago, I realized that I had deviated away from my habit of jumping on the scale every morning.  Weighing myself daily was a habit I maintained to prevent my weight from getting out of control.  Whenever I don't pay attention to my eating habits for too long, the weight quickly shows up.

Since I hadn't weighed myself in a while, I was pretty nervous to find out what kind of damage had been done.  When I finally drummed up enough courage to jump on the scale, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to find out that my weight was actually lower than previously. 

I was super excited about losing a few pounds and thought back about what I did to create this result.  After a few moments of reflection, my mind drew a blank.  Truthfully, I hadn't really done anything differently.   I ate pretty much the same, didn't exercise much.  I wasn't focusing on my weight during that time at all.  The weight seemed to just miraculously disappear.

Since I couldn't come up with a definitive conclusion, I just assumed there was no cause....that it was some sort of random occurrence.

Yesterday morning, the answer came to me as I conducted my morning routine.    The weight loss that I experienced during that time could be a direct result of my regular meditation sessions.

Here's why.

Monday, December 23, 2019

2019 is quickly coming to a close.  Let's do a goal planning exercise to prepare for the year ahead.  I've written about the concept of the future version of you on a few occasions.  Basically, it's the idea of being the person today that will create the future you want to experience tomorrow. 

Every single desire of yours is possible if you simply make a series of decisions/actions that bring about that result.  Today, we're going to focus on our ideal future and how to ensure this future happens by identifying exactly what we need to do today.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

I'm sure everyone's goal is to one day become financially free!  That's my goal for sure.  Before we arrive at financial freedom, we must first become financially independent.  Financial freedom and financial independence are often used interchangeably.  But for the purposes of our discussion, I'd like to give a new meaning to being financially independent.

I like to think of financial independence as the ability to generate income outside of a steady paycheck that comes from a 9-5.  Once you've developed the ability to earn income without the use of an employer, you get to chose how your life is lived versus feeling forced to have to work for a paycheck.

I'm not here to tell people to quit their jobs.  Actually, I suggest that folks start building the habit of building financial independence while still employed.  It's a muscle that must be developed so having the safety net of a steady paycheck is comforting to have as you build your new revenue streams.  You might be asking yourself, "if paychecks are so reliable what's the need to even have other streams of income." 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Yesterday, I made an impromptu trip to Marshall's to see if I would stumble on some interesting finds.  While standing in line, I noticed that myself and the two women in front of me, were wearing the same hairstyle.  All three of us wore our hair in two large cornrows. Another thing we all had in common is that we were dressed down and put no extra effort into our appearance before leaving the house.  I could have excused my behavior by saying that I left the house to visit my mom and had not made the decision to visit Marshalls until that last second.  But, truth be told...I had no excuse. 

Wearing two large braids was an easy option.  It had been raining on and off so wearing my hair out was a no-go.  This style is simple and no fuss.  And, at the same time, this style can look extremely basic and underwhelming,  especially if you're dressed down.  It was at that moment, that I decided to seek out inspiration on how to enhance one of my favorite go-to hairstyles.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Laying down my edges is something I've never been able to get into.  I'm just not good at it and my baby hairs never seem to cooperate.  In my quest to master this technique, I've acquired a wide array of gels, waxes, and hair glues to make the impossible happen.  Honestly, I was content with never having mastered the art of smoothing down my edges.  I almost gave up on the idea of ever making it happen.

But, today is a new day and I'm excited to try a new method I came across just moments ago.  Who knows, maybe this new technique will bring about the results I've longed for...



As the year comes to a close, I have this burning desire to work on myself and my surroundings.  It's been a habit of mine for years.  When I worked a traditional job, I would always ask for the last two weeks of the year off.  To me, the last two weeks were sacred.  That block of time was always dedicated to reflection + preparation.  

Reflection allowed me to look back and show gratitude for the wonderful manifestations I experienced throughout the year.  I have this weird habit of only looking forward and sometimes forgetting the achievements of the recent past.  That's why reflection is important.  Reflection helps remind us that we have successfully created before which helps build confidence that it can be replicated in the future.  

In 2020 and beyond, I'd like to do things a little differently.  Along with investing the last few weeks in the year into a massive manifestation project, I'd also like to build the daily of creating in real-time.

Don't get me wrong, setting aside dedicated time for massive manifestation is absolutely necessary.  That's how I accomplished a lot of the big goals I set for myself in the past.  A focused period of massive action is sometimes needed.  But.... I also want to make the act of creating an active, ongoing process. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

 
With 2020 being just around the corner, I'm guessing that a lot of us have some big goals set for the year (and decade) to come.  A lot of my friends have intentions of launching a successful business in the near future.  Others want to take their current results to the next level.

I'm here to share a road map that will almost guarantee successful results in any endeavor.  If you follow this advice, you'll greatly increase your chances of achieving great outcomes.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Every once in awhile I notice a micro-trend that really catches the eye.  I consider a micro-trend as a trend within a trend.  It's about noticing the style mavens who elevate a specific trend with their own unique twist.

As someone who loves to dress in basics, one of the most powerful ways I can enhance my look is by accessorizing to perfection.  Experimenting with jewelry and shoes seems like the obvious choice.  But I find myself enamored with the idea of wearing a beautifully designed red belt bag as a signature statement piece.

A belt bag is on my list of items to acquire....but as always, I was deadset on grabbing a solid black one.  Black is a classic color but a bag that is meant to be worn around the waist has a different purpose. It should serve as a focal point for your entire outfit.  A friend and I attended a fashion show then visited the showroom to check out the designer pieces available for sale.  Her eyes immediately gravitated towards a grey snakeskin belt bag. It was stunning.  The minute she tried it on, her entire look took on a different vibe.

It was an absolute must-have that she couldn't pass up.

Friday, December 6, 2019

When winter rolls around, I sometimes tend to kick back and take it easy with my skin regimen.  Oil production slows and my skin isn't as hyperactive so I'm not as diligent as in summer.  With colder weather, activity in the skin seems to slow down.  This can be good and bad.  I don't experience the same amount of breakouts but it feels like the stuff in my pores don't reach the skin's surface.

Because we don't sweat as much, perhaps that affects our skin's ability to purge via our pores.  One way I'm combating this issue is to mask more frequently.  Masks are awesome, aren't they?  In just a few minutes they have the ability to erase a multitude of skin sins.  What I love about clay masks that they're diverse.   You can try a drug store priced brand like the cult fave Aztec Healing Clay or you can splurge a little and try a multi-mask like Glam Glow.

Whatever product you decide, make sure you include this step for maximum results.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

I'm a child of the 80's.  Back then blush was a really big deal.  Women loved to oversaturate their cheeks with blush to the point where it became excessive.  Even as an innocent child, I knew that what these women were doing was a faux pas they would one day regret.

 Since then I've had an unhealthy relationship with blush.  I didn't see it as useful and feared that wearing it would make me look like a clown.  Not to mention how difficult it is to find a blush that flatters deep skin tones.

Today I'm here to announce that I've finally overcome my hatred to blush.  How? This shift in my thinking is due to finding the shade blush that does what blush was supposed to do.  Blush isn't supposed to be some random bright color that contrasts with the skin, sitting atop of cheekbones.  It's supposed to replicate the look of enhanced blood flow to the cheek.

Orange blush does just that.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

You may remember an article I wrote about finding a muse to emulate when you begin your glo up journey.  Well, I'm happy to report that one of my muses revealed one of her signature beauty secrets on Instagram and I can't wait to share it with you today.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Every holiday season & winter season, I find myself slowing getting softer and softer as I put on extra weight.  Typically, I wait until warmer weather to frantically lose the extra pounds by summer.  This year, I'm taking a different approach.

It's only been a couple days since Thanksgiving and I've already begun putting on the holiday pounds.   I had a choice to make...either do nothing and let the weight compound or I can take a small step that could have a huge impact.

Monday, December 2, 2019

As the year comes to a close, I have this burning desire to work on myself and my surroundings.  It's been a habit of mine for years.  When I worked a traditional job, I would always ask for the last two weeks of the year off.  To me, the last two weeks were sacred.  That block of time was always dedicated to reflection + preparation.  

Reflection allowed me to look back and show gratitude for the wonderful manifestations I experienced throughout the year.  I have this weird habit of only looking forward and sometimes forgetting the achievements of the recent past.  That's why reflection is important.  Reflection helps remind us that we have successfully created before which helps build confidence that it can be replicated in the future.  

In 2020 and beyond, I'd like to do things a little differently.  Along with investing the last few weeks in the year into a massive manifestation project, I'd also like to build the daily of creating in real-time.

Don't get me wrong, setting aside dedicated time for massive manifestation is absolutely necessary.  That's how I accomplished a lot of the big goals I set for myself in the past.  A focused period of massive action is sometimes needed.  But.... I also want to make the act of creating an active, ongoing process. 

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